Players React to NCAA Canceling March Madness Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 03:  The NCAA logo on the floor during a Atlantic 10 Women's Basketball Tournament - First Round college basketball game between the Richmond Spiders and the George Washington Colonials at the Smith Center on March 3, 2020 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The NCAA canceled all winter and spring sports championships Thursday, including the men's and women's basketball tournaments, to prevent the continued spread of the coronavirus.

Not surprisingly, players across the country met the move with a mix of emotions. 

Duke guard Tre Jones and Kansas forward Mitch Lightfoot were at a loss for words:

Tre Jones @Tre3Jones

Doesn’t seem real still... 😪 https://t.co/PUMxThVMgC

Mitch Lightfoot @Mitchlightfoot

Don’t know what to say or think

Jones' Blue Devils teammate Cassius Stanley said he understood the decision:

Cassius Stanley @cassius_stanley

Heartbreaking but the right thing to do😕 https://t.co/c0FBcChNZB

Trey Landers is not only a senior but also a part of a Dayton team that was on pace to be a No. 1 seed in the Big Dance. Now, one of the greatest seasons in Flyers history is over:

Trey Landers @tlanders_03

I wish all of this was just a dream that I could wake up from ... Wish i could play one more game with my brothers ... 💔😓

Here's how others reacted:

Justin Ahrens @ahrensjustin12

Had high expectations for this group on the back end of this season😕... regardless of the circumstances it’s been a great year with my brothers & buckeyenation🤞 #Team121 ❤️ everyone stay blessed & healthy.

TJD @TrayceJackson

Im sick, not just for myself but for the seniors on the team who worked so hard for this. They deserve more @ChefBoyArGreen @DDavis2016

Devon Dotson⚡️ @d_dotson1

Nightmare ...

Minyon Moore @MinyonMoore

I’m broken.... my college journey is really over, thank you Oregon 🙏🏽 https://t.co/rOZ9Y7eyDl

The reaction wasn't limited to players, as coaches chimed in too:

Kelly Graves @GoDucksKG

It appears our ‘unfinished business’ will remain just that. Disappointed but I completely understand. I love & I hurt for my team❤️ https://t.co/jL5LZ6ZwVT

dawnstaley @dawnstaley

Unsettling and devastating but the absolute best decision for all. https://t.co/EI7LWZRb2M

The NCAA initially planned to hold the NCAA men's and women's tournaments without fans and with only essential personnel and select family present.

However, the situation escalated quickly across the sports landscape, with the NBA, NHL and MLS all suspending play. Utah Jazz stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell tested positive for COVID-19 as well.